A bright yellow Light shines forth in the Darkness

In this Sunday's second reading, we are called to give thanks with joy to the Father who has made us to share in the lot of God’s people and inherit the light.

Nov 18, 2016

By Anil Netto
In this Sunday's second reading, we are called to give thanks with joy to the Father who has made us to share in the lot of God’s people and inherit the light.

It so happens that a ‘supermoon,’ the largest since 1948, has been shining a bright yellow Light, illuminating the night sky across the world on Nov 14-15. This added light dispelling the Darkness, albeit briefly, may be seen as a metaphor for God’s divine Light breaking through the darkness of our times.

The second reading for this Sunday is taken from Colossians 1:12-20 that talks about what God has done for us: “It is he who has rescued us from the ruling force of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of the Son that he loves” (verse 13).

Note the words “has rescued” not “will rescue”. We have already been rescued!

But sometimes, that bright yellow Light might be dimmed and the world might seem a bit darker, with evil lurking in the shadows, prowling the streets and carrying out all kinds of mischief.

After all, it was under the cover of darkness that Jesus was arrested and hauled up to face the powers that be. Powerful, shadowy figures interrogated, assaulted and tortured Jesus, holding him captive as Darkness enveloped the land.

But the power that earthly rulers hold through their system of domination is only fleeting and temporary. Those who wield it are expected to exercise it with justice and mercy and compassion. As Jesus told Pilate, “You would have no power over me at all if it had not been given you from above…” (John 19:11).

Indeed, power can be bestowed, and just as easily taken away, especially if rulers fail to act justly. In last Sunday's reading from Malachi chapter 3, it was written: 19 “For look, the Day is coming, glowing like a furnace. All the proud and all the evil-doers will be the stubble…”

Their fates will be reversed as the meek will come bounding out. 20 “But for you who fear my name, the Sun of justice will rise with healing in his rays, and you will come out leaping like calves from the stall.”

But sometimes, it is easy for us to despair when the Darkness seems so impenetrable, the cloak of evil so thick and unshakeable, and the night so long. Gandhi reminded us: “When I despair, I remember that all through history, the way of truth and love has always won.

There have been tyrants and murderers and, for a time, they seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall — think of it, always.”

The real force for change comes from the ground and springs from a tiny seed. Jesus relied on a small band of disciples to go about establishing his kingdom of justice and peace around the world. They faced horrendous and cruel persecution as the vision of the Beatitudes collided with the brute powers of a corrupt world. And the struggle to build this kingdom goes on.

Gandhi also reminded us how “a small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.” This is similar to the words widely attributed (though this is disputed) to the mid-20th Century anthropologist Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

The ultimate triumph will go to the cause of divine Justice, heralded by Jesus, who was divine Wisdom incarnate, and it will be illuminated with that bright Light. In John, Chapter 1, it is written: 4 “What has come into being in him was life, life that was the light of men; 5 and light shines in darkness, and darkness could not overpower it.”

The article is dedicated to one of the courageous ‘meek’, Cardinal Soter Fernandez, who was installed in Rome as Malaysia’s first cardinal on November 19. And to all the other ‘meek’ who have supported the cause for clean and fair elections, a clean government, a strong parliamentary democracy, the right to dissent, and the empowerment of Sabah and Sarawak.

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